Oh, now, I have to admit that when we first got together, we did a lot of walking, and then the kids came and we made new friends and we went through that whole "hating each other" phase, and then we didn't walk so much. In fact, we'd go months without. But as we've grown older, and the kids have, too, we've fallen into a nice rhythm. We set the time aside for each other, and we are finally really able to enjoy our walks together.
I used to be a really slow walker. I am, truth be told, really slow at most things in life. I don't even wear a watch; I'm just never in that much of a hurry, you know? The Donor is a much more efficient walker than I am, for sure. He walks tall, takes long, powerful strides, makes each step count. Me? I start with a bang and then I'm all FLOWERS! and SUNSHINE! and BIRDIES! and then I realize I've wasted all this time and energy, and so I power on out to the end.
You can learn a lot about a person by the way they walk, I've noticed.
Anyway, after a few years, we kind of figured out how we could accommodate each other's pace and sort of keep up with each other just enough to finish our walks at the same time. We could just as easily take a walk by ourselves, I suppose, but it's just more fun with each other. We got married so we could do stuff like this together, right? Right. A decade in, we'd finally gotten ourselves settled into a nice place where we were keeping pace with each other, and then I had to go fuck it all up.
Lately, I seem to have gravitated towards speed-walking. I don't mean to; I always start out fully intent on soaking in the scenery and enjoying a nice, relaxing stroll, but I'll be damned if walking that first half with him, pushing to keep up with him, doesn't get my heart racing and kick me right into overdrive, and then I'm all pile-driving my way through the second half, leaving my poor man behind to eat my dust.
On the rare occasion when he gets really going and makes it around the track before I do, I'm usually pretty happy to just throw in the towel and call it a day. Call me lazy, but the Starbucks stop after is just as much fun for me as the walk itself. But when I am the first one to the finish, well, he's a little more dedicated to the cause than me. He's an athlete. He's going the distance. The problem is, this is where I'm totally screwing myself over. If I'd just stayed with him, we could be chatting about the weather or the election or something, but since I didn't even have the consideration to hang back with him, now I'm stuck having to wait and he has to decide whether or not to hurry it up already so I don't get bored or whether to take his time and enjoy his damn walk that he was trying to take with pequeño Senorita Speedy Gonzales in the first place.
I was thinking about the sudden change in my performance, and I got to thinking about the reasons why. I'm not a competitive person, really, so I thought there had to be some other reason for the difference. And then I remembered that not too long ago, I switched from the regular anti-depressants that I take to the extended release kind. Which means that at certain points throughout my day, I get this little zing of activityableness (is to a word). I take advantage of the zing to get the floors swept or the laundry folded. There's no reason that isn't playing right into our walks. It seemed perfectly reasonable to me that it wasn't so much that he was motivating me to walk faster or inspiring me to really push myself, but that pharmaceuticals were to blame. (Or be credited, depending on how literally you're taking this post.)
Which, by the way, is a terrible thing to say to your husband while you're out on your first date in just about a year. Yeah, honey, it's not you, it's the drugs.